I like to do the soup in a jar and cookie mix in a jar also, but I just read on a web site how to can your own blueberry pie filling (and other pie fillings), so I think I'm gonna try that this year while blueberries are in season and more affordable.
I gave one of every type of jam that I made for Christmas last year.The year before that I made a bunch of cookies.I live on a tight budget and it's cheaper for me to do this than to go and buy everyone a gift.Besides the family loves the food and they tell me every year they want more of the same!
The last two Christmases, I have done gift jars - the type where all the dry good are in the jar, and the recipient just needs to add a couple things and cook. The first year I did a pasta soup mix, a hot chocolate mix, a brownie, a pancake mix with chocolate chips and dried cherries, and a couple different cookies. They went over so well, I did them again last year, but just the 3 I got the most positive comments about, which were the soup, brownies and the oatmeal cookie. I'm going to do them again this year - they're so inexpensive, especially if you buy some of the ingredients in bulk. And the people who get them seem very appreciative - especially grandparents and such, who don't really need anymore "things". I never expect the jars back, but happily take them if they're offered, which has turned out to be quite often.
For the jellies and jams (here jelly is clear and jam has the fruit in) I just use the jars which would otherwise get thrown out; peanut butter jars, coffee jars etc and then put a pretty cover on or paint the lids. Then they don't cost anything so it is fine for the recipient to keep the jar.
I started giving hot pepper jelly and apple butter a few years ago. I like doing this rather than giving baked goods because I can do the canning when I have time and have the gifts ready when they are needed. GARRINGER9 - I've never heard of garlic jelly - sounds fantastic!
It's the job that's never started takes longest to finish. J. R. R. Tolkien
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I do the normal jellies and some syrups. Also jalapeno jelly is a good one and garlic jelly. It is nice when you put it in a little theme basket or something like that -like you do kitchencat. I also assume I will never see my jars, sometimes people will just give them back but the others are just part of the gift.
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Fitness Minutes: (43,717) Posts: 341 7/24/08 10:53 P
If I do jelly for gifts, it is in half pint jars as my 'audience' tends to use that stuff sparingly, like pulling it out when they have houseguests. They much prefer the savory for themselves and I have found that I can get off pretty easily with the combination of frozen pesto that I did in September and packed in half pint freezer containers, dried tomatoes packed in olive oil(tomatoes from the dehydrator, moistened slightly, pack in half pint jars, cover with ex virgin olive oil, water bath about 15 minutes) and a container of homemade garlic-herb cheese spread (cream cheese, butter, garlic, fresh tarragon, basil, parsley, chervil, chives). Canned hot peppers - hungarian hot wax in olive oil or pickled serranos with onions, garlic and carrots in red wine vinegar.
I just assume I will never see my jars again as they are part of the present. Some do make it back and I always welcome them home. I can often pick up used canning jars at my local amish farmers market for $3/dozen. You might check the classified ads also.
Deb State College, PA
Fitness Minutes: (77,077) Posts: 6,330 7/24/08 9:33 P
Ok, so do you use pint or quart jars for jellies, and do you ask for them back, or are they part of the gift? I'm toying with the idea of trying this, but I don't want to lose all my jars. Still, it might end up being an inexpensive gift, idk.
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